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He saw misfortune's cauld nor-west
Lang mustering up a bitter blast;
A jillet brak his heart at last,
So, took a birth afore the mast,
An' owre the sea.
To tremble under Fortune's cummock,
On scarce a bellyfu' o' drummock,
Wi' his proud independent stomach
Could ill agree;
So, row't his hurdies in a hammock,
An' owre the sea.
He ne'er was gien to great misguiding,
Yet coin his pouches wadna bide in;
Wi' him it ne'er was under hiding;
He dealt it free:
The muse was a' that he took pride in,
That's owre the sea.
Jamaica bodies, use him weel,
An' hap him in a cozie biel;
Ye'll find him aye a dainty chiel,
And fou o' glee;
He wadna wrang'd the vera deil,
That's owre the sea.
Fareweel, my rhyme-composing Billie! Your native soil was right ill-willie ; But may ye flourish like a lily,
I'll toast ye in my hindmost gillie,
Tho' owre the sea.
FAIR fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o' a grace
As lang's my arm.
The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o' need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.
His knife see rustic labour dight,
An' cut you up with ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Then horn for horn they stretch an' strive,
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld guidman, maist like to ryve,
Is there that o'er his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad make her spew
Wi' perfect sconner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornful view On sic a dinner?
Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro' bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!
But mark the rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whissle;
An' legs, an' arms, an' heads will sned, Like taps o' thrissle.
Ye powers, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!
TO GAVIN HAMILTON, ESQ.
EXPECT na, Sir, in this narration,
A fleechin, fleth'rin dedication,
To roose you up, an' ca' you guid,
An' sprung o' great an' noble bluid,
Because ye're surnam'd like his grace,
Perhaps related to the race;
Then when I'm tir'd-and sae are ye,
Wi' mony a fulsome, sinfu' lie,
Set up a face, how I stop short,
For fear your modesty be hurt.
This may do-maun do, Sir, wi' them wha
Maun please the great folk for a wamefou;
For me! sae laigh I needna bow,
For, Lord be thankit, I can plough;
And when I downa yoke a naig,
Then, Lord be thankit, I can beg;
Sae I shall say, an' that's nae flatt'rin,
It's just sic poet, an' sic patron.
The Poet, some guid angel help him,
Or else, I fear, some ill ane skelp him,
He may do weel for a' he's done yet,
But only he's no just begun yet.
The Patron (Sir, ye maun forgie me,
I winna lie, come what will o' me),
On ev'ry hand it will allow'd be,
He's just-nae better than he should be.
I readily and freely grant,
He downa see a poor man want;
What's no his ain he winna tak it,
What aince he says he winna break it;
Ought he can lend he'll no refus't,
Till aft his guidness is abus'd;
And rascals whyles that do him wrang,
Ev'n that, he doesna mind it lang:
As master, landlord, husband, father,
He doesna fail his part in either.
But then, nae thanks to him for a' that;
Nae godly symptom ye can ca' that;
It's naething but a milder feature
Of our poor sinfu' corrupt nature:
Ye'll get the best o' moral works,
'Mang black Gentoos and pagan Turks,
Or hunters wild on Ponotaxi,
Wha never heard of orthodoxy.
That he's the poor man's friend in need,
The gentleman in word and deed,
It's no thro' terror of d-mn-tion;
It's just a carnal inclination.
Morality, thou deadly bane,
Thy tens o' thousands thou hast slain!
Vain is his hope, whose stay and trust is
In moral mercy, truth, and justice!
No-stretch a point to catch a plack;
Abuse a brother to his back;
Steal thro' a winnock frae a wh-re,
But point the rake that taks the door :
Be to the poor like onie whunstane,
And haud their noses to the grunstane,
Ply ev'ry art, o' legal thieving;
Nae matter, stick to sound believing.
Learn three-mile pray'rs, and half-mile graces, Wi' weel spread looves, an' lang wry faces; Grunt up a solemn, lengthen'd groan,
And damn a' parties but your own;